Sun down, leaves falling, time for lotus to bloom: BJP youth wing tells Tamil Nadu
BJP’s youth wing organised a rally, called Mission Tamil Nadu, touting as a trailer to the BJP’s attempt to capture Tamil Nadu, which is considered the party’s final frontier.india Updated: Aug 07, 2017 19:36 IST
The BJP’s youth wing held a rally in the Tamil Nadu capital on Tuesday, preparing the ground to expand its footprints in the southern state where the party has negligible presence.
Called Mission Tamil Nadu, the rally is touted as a trailer to the BJP’s attempt to capture the state, which is considered the party’s final frontier. The party is in power at the Centre and in 21 states.
“The sun is setting and the leaves are falling apart,” said Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) president Poonam Mahajan.
And the crowd, comprising mostly youth, responded that the “lotus will bloom now”.
The rallying call and the response were metaphorical.
The two leaves, sun and lotus are the election symbols of the ruling AIADMK, DMK and BJP.
The AIADMK is fighting a bitter internal battle for power since the death of party supremo and chief minister J Jayalalithaa last December. The party now has two factions, one of them is ruling and both are feuding over the poll symbol.
The opposition DMK of K Karunanidhi hasn’t been able to take advantage of infighting in its rival’s ranks.
The AIADMK and DMK have been ruling the state almost alternately for decades, riding the personality cult of Jayalalithaa and Karunanidhi that defines Tamuil Nadu politics.
But the death of AIADMK’s tallest leader has left a vacuum that the BJP is seeking to fill.
The BJYM chief, who is the daughter of the late BJP national leader Pramod Mahajan, said: “The real sun that gives us energy and power is Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”
As the youth at the rally close to Chennai signature Marina beach cheered, she said this is “just a trailer … the full picture will be released shortly and lotus will bloom in Tamil Nadu.”
Her choice of words — trailer and picture, informal for movies — is seen as a deliberate attempt to relate to the people of a state where celluloid and matinee idols get god-like respect and love. AIADMK founder MG Ramachandran and protégée Jayalalithaa were big film stars. DMK’s Karunanidhi is an acclaimed scriptwriter and poet.
Besides the analogies, Mahajan spoke in English. It is easier to connect in this language and avoid ruffling people’s sensibilities as Tamil Nadu has recorded a long anti-Hindi movement.
“BJP is all for Tamil pride and respects the Tamil language,” Mahajan said later to Hindustan Times.
She apologised for her inability to speak Tamil and promised to do so the next time she visits the state.
She also blamed the Congress for drumming up anti-Hindi sentiments in the southern states.
“Karnataka never had a problem with Hindi. It was just that the Congress chief minister of the state used the issue to score political points,” she said.
According to Mahajan, Tamil Nadu needs a good leader to fulfill the people’s aspirations.
The BJYM rally comes close on the heels of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Rameswaram. BJP president Amit Shah is also expected to visit state later this August.
Mahajan, who is also a parliamentarian from Mumbai, said the BJYM has adopted nine districts, where volunteers will take central government programmes to the people. Besides, some business houses could be funding projects in villages and semi-urban areas.
“Everything will be done just the way I do in the two villages I adopted in Maharashtra,” she said.